Vietnamese marathon record broken after two decades

By Nhat Tao   January 21, 2024 | 06:31 am PT
Vietnamese marathon record broken after two decades
Runner Hoang Nguyen Thanh during the 31st SEA Games held in Hanoi in 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
In a remarkable display of athleticism at the Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday, two Vietnamese runners set new national records in both marathon categories for men and women.

For the male category, Hoang Nguyen Thanh, 29, shattered a 21-year-old record when finishing the full race of 42 km in 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 43 seconds, surpassing the previous record set by Nguyen Chi Dong at the 2003 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

The longstanding record of Nguyen Chi Dong, set with a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes, and 51 seconds, had been a challenging target for many Vietnamese runners over the years.

Nguyen Van Lai and Thanh himself had both come close, but it was only at the Hong Kong Marathon that Thanh finally broke through, finishing 14th overall.

This achievement marks Nguyên Thanh's second national record this month alone. Earlier in January, he won the Hanoi International Half Marathon with a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 39 seconds.

At the same event, Hoang Thi Ngoc Hoa, 24, completed the full race within 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 52 seconds, establishing a new benchmark for Vietnamese women in the marathon.

Hoa’s time surpassed the former national record, held by Hoang Thi Thanh since 2016.

The Hong Kong Marathon, established in 1997, saw over 14,000 athletes participating in the full race this year, with 11,437 male and 2,692 female runners.

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